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Witness to History: After 50 Years, Nonagenarian Again Sees Sewer System Installed

Patricia Black watches as the 54-year old sewer she saw installed in 1959 gets an overhaul.

Mrs. Patricia Black get a firsthand look at the equipment. Photo credit: ALMU
Mrs. Patricia Black get a firsthand look at the equipment. Photo credit: ALMU

On Sept. 3, an Avon Lake resident got a touch of deja vu and recalled a time when Avon Lake didn't have sewers. 

Patricia Black, a Rosewood Drive resident repeated an experience she had more than 50 years ago when she came outside last week to watch crews install a sewer—this one, just for sanitary waste at the Belmar and Lake Road intersection. 

In 1959, Black watched as the then-new sewer system was installed near her house. At the time the original combined sewer was installed, sewers were designed to send water/wastewater overflows directly into Lake Erie.

Avon Lake Municipal Utilities current project is to undo a portion of the work completed in 1959: A sewer separation will prevent wastewater to enter Lake Erie. 

Black asked for a closer look at the new sewer line being inserted under the Belmar Boulevard and Lake Road intersection, which Avon Lake Municipal Utilities’ engineer Jack Gaydar was happy to accommodate.

Black, 91, moved to Avon Lake in 1949, 10 years before that part of Avon Lake received its first sewer. 

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